Golf: Port’s Renfrew is no match for strokeplay champion

Port Bannatyne’s Stephen Renfrew was the best placed Bute player at the Argyll and Bute strokeplay championship at Machrihanish Dunes on Saturday – although he was no match for the tournament winner, Robert MacIntyre of Glencruitten.

MacIntyre landed a birdie three at the first extra hole after tying with Millport’s Craig Pirie on one-under-par 143 for the competition’s 36 holes.

The course, in magnificent condition for the event. proved a stern test for the county’s top players; Pirie led after the first round with a one-over-par 73, three ahead of MacIntyre, but when the wind dropped after lunch the two players, drawn together for the afternoon round, brought the best out of each other with some superb golf.

MacIntyre in particular was on fire, surging to five under after 14 holes and going one shot clear of Pirie on one under; Pirie, though drew level with a birdie at the 17th, and the 18th was halved, MacIntyre finishing with an incredible 67 to Pirie’s 70 against a CSS of 74.

The great golf continued in the playoff, with MacIntyre hitting his approach from 60 yards to within a foot of the hole.

Pirie narrowly missed from 15 feet, handing MacIntyre the title and giving the Scotland under-16 cap a clean sweep of county titles after capturing both the under-16 and under-18 titles last month, while also adding the youth strokeplay trophy to his adult triumph.

Renfrew returned two scores of 76 to finish nine shots clear of the leading pair.